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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Media Contacts: Investor Relations Contacts: Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd. Akira Kadota (Japan) Makoto Mihara (Japan) International PR Investor Relations (Tel: +81-3-3578-1237) (Tel: +81-6-6908-1121) Panasonic News Bureau (Japan) Akihiro Takei (U.S.) (Tel: +81-3-3542-6205) Panasonic Finance (America), Inc. (Tel: +1-212-698-1365) Jim Reilly (U.S.) (Tel: +1-201-392-6067) Hiroko Carvell (Europe) Panasonic Finance (Europe) plc Munetsugu Takeda (Europe) (Tel: +44-20-7562-4400) (Tel: +49-611-235-305) Toray Industries, Inc. Corporate Communications Section (Tel: +81-3-3245-5178)
Panasonic and Toray to Build the World's Largest
Plasma TV Plant
with a Capacity of One Million Units per Month
Osaka, Japan (January 10, 2007) - Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd. (Panasonic [NYSE symbol: MC]), best known for its Panasonic brand, and diversified chemical group Toray Industries, Inc. (Toray), today announced plans to build a new plasma display panel (PDP) manufacturing facility in Japan. It will be the fifth PDP plant of their joint venture, Matsushita PDP Company Ltd. (MPDP), enabling Panasonic to further step up its PDP production capacity, making it by far the largest PDP manufacturer in the world.
To leverage concentration of manufacturing facilities to its advantage, MPDP plans to build the new plant in Amagasaki, Japan near the existing fourth plant. The construction is scheduled to start in November 2007 and the first phase of the production in May 2009.
With an investment of approximately 280 billion yen, the fifth plant will have a monthly production capacity of one million units (calculated based on 42-inch panels) - the largest production capacity of PDP in the world. The investment efficiency of the new plant will be five times or greater than that of MPDP's first PDP plant. With its overwhelming production capacity and cost competitiveness, Panasonic will lead the world market of large-screen flat-panel displays.
By introducing the latest facilities as well as MPDP's leading-edge processing technologies and production systems, the new plant will realize as many as ten 42-inch panels, or eight 50-inch panels, from a single sheet of glass, the world's largest number of panels per sheet in PDP production. MPDP will implement a comprehensive production management scheme to cover all its factories to realize speedier and more flexible supply of the products. With the new plant, MPDP will further strengthen its supply system to meet an ever-increasing demand in the global market.
Panasonic forecasts that with the rapid increase of the demand for flat-panel TVs due to the global digitalization of TV broadcasts, 65% of the 200 million world aggregate demand for TVs will be for flat-panel TVs in 2010. Panasonic also forecasts that the demand for larger-screen TVs will increase rapidly with the expansion of contents with high picture quality and creation of smaller footprint flat-panel TVs, leading to over 30% of the world aggregate demand for TVs occupied by the 37-inch or larger flat-panel TVs in 2010. Further increase of the demand is expected in China and other BRICs countries where infrastructure for digital TV broadcasts will be developed, as well as in the biggest TV markets such as the U.S. and Europe.
The demand for PDPs with extended lifetime, energy-efficiency and high picture quality has also been increasing rapidly for business-use as multipurpose display for business, educational and medical applications as well as for home-use.
As Panasonic anticipates that the world PDP market will grow to 30
million units in 2010 because of the superiority of PDP TVs to other
flat-panel TVs in terms of production and cost efficiency as well
as picture quality, Panasonic has decided to further expand its production
capacity of PDP panels.
By positioning PDPs as one of their core businesses, Panasonic and Toray are committed to running MPDP jointly and making a significant contribution to the progress of the industry of new audiovisual equipment on a global scale.
Profile of New Plant
|Name:||Matsushita PDP Company Ltd. Fifth Plant|
|Location:||Near the existing Amagasaki plant (under consideration)|
|Investment:||Approximately 280 billion yen
(including plant construction and equipment cost)
Senior Vice President, Panasonic AVC Networks Company
Executive Officer, Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd.
|Products:||Plasma displays, plasma display modules and related products|
|Production Capacity:||One million units per month
(calculated based on 42-inch panels)
|Construction:||Groundbreaking in November 2007|
|Production:||Planned to commence in May 2009|
|Floor Space:||Approximately 284,000 square meters|
|Floors:||Six stories and mid-stairs|
Best known by its Panasonic brand name, Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd. is a worldwide leader in the development and manufacturing of electronic products for a wide range of consumer, business, and industrial needs. Based in Osaka, Japan, the Company recorded consolidated net sales of US$76.02 billion for the year ended March 31, 2006. The Company's shares are listed on the Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya and New York (NYSE:MC) stock exchanges. For more information on the Company and the Panasonic brand, visit the Company's website at http://panasonic.net/.
Toray, a leading diversified chemicals corporate group, has been technology-focused since its foundation in 1926. The Company's operations are underpinned by technological expertise in organic synthetic chemistry, polymer science, biotechnology and nanotechnology - Toray's core technologies. These innovative technologies have yielded "advanced materials" that Toray is now exploiting to provide customers with comprehensive solutions through Fibers and Textiles, Plastics and Chemicals, IT-related Products, Carbon Fiber Composite Materials, Environment and Engineering, Life Science and Other Businesses divisions. In the ended March 31, 2006, Toray had consolidated sales of US$12.1 billion, and over 34,600 employees worldwide. For further information, please check the Company's website at http://www.toray.com.
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